Tune Hotels.com, part of the Tune Group, the private investment group of Tony Fernandes, founder and Group CEO of low cost airline AirAsia and Team Principal of the Lotus F1 Racing team, has entered into a strategic partnership with London-based Queensway Group Limited to invest in, develop and operate 15 Tune Hotels.com hotels across Greater London by 2017.
Under the terms of the strategic partnership, Tune Hotels.com’s limited service concept of a ‘5-star sleeping experience at a 1-star price’ will be rolled-out across approximately 1,500 hotel rooms, representing £150 million of investment into the London hospitality sector. The roll-out will commence with the launch of Tune Hotels.com-Westminster at 118 Westminster Bridge Road in Q3 2010.
Queensway Group Limited is a UK-based private investment group owning and operating hospitality assets in the UK, Europe and United Arab Emirates (UAE).
Mark Lankester, Group CEO of Tune Hotels.com, said: “We believe Tune Hotels.com will significantly boost London’s hospitality sector. While this city’s global reputation as a leisure and business destination will be enhanced by the Olympic Games in 2012, sterling’s current weakness works in London’s favour in attracting overseas visitors and spend, and in times of continuing economic uncertainty, superior value for money remains key.
“We are pleased to be working with organisations such as Visit Britain, Visit London, Think London and Visit England; and believe our dynamic pricing model will provide a strong call to action that will be hard to ignore.
“Our limited service concept encourages guests to spend less within the hotel itself, driving more spend outside the hotel, within the local business community.
“More consumers are demanding a ‘5-star sleeping experience at a 1-star price’ so that they can spend their hard-earned income on shopping, dining and recreational pursuits outside the hotel. Tune Hotels.com creates a multiplier effect, growing overall tourism spend throughout the locations we establish. Understandably, our expansion requires strategic collaborations with solid local partners who share our vision and we’re delighted to have found the right partner in Queensway Group Limited for Greater London. “
The fast developing economies of Asia, with their major populations and innovative regional low-cost carriers such as Tune Hotels.com’s sister company AirAsia, have fostered significant increases in travel activity. Tune Hotels.com has leveraged this by embracing the limited service model used by low cost airlines, passing on savings from eliminating costly, yet underutilised facilities like conference rooms, food & beverage facilities, swimming pools and gyms, directly to its guests.
Tune Hotels.com focuses only on the high quality basics of great beds with ensuite Power Showers; implementing a pay-as-you-use system of optional add-ons for energy-consuming amenities. It encourages guests to book early online to enjoy exceptionally low prices, with rooms available from as low as £2 per night in its Malaysian and Indonesian hotels.
Tune Hotels.com’s healthy occupancy figures confirm it has hit upon a concept that resonates with today’s modern traveller. Until recently, much of Asian travel activity was intra-regional. However, with the AirAsia-X launch of low-cost, long-haul flights between Kuala Lumpur and London in 2009, there is now a truly affordable bridge between a key Asian hub in Kuala Lumpur and a Europe-American hub which can be found in London. Tune Hotels.com therefore see it a logical step to enter the London hospitality sector with a limited service product that has already been embraced by over half a million guests in South East Asia, in addition to the expected customer base from the United Kingdom and Europe.
Nick Jivraj, Managing Director of Queensway Group Limited, said, “We’re extremely excited about partnering with Tune Hotels.com to develop the London market. Their association with AirAsia, AirAsia-X and Lotus F1 through the Tune Group provides a unique platform for marketing synergies, and their strong brand and marketing expertise in generating room nights online aligns with trends revealing the internet as the prime channel for travel purchase decisions.”
He continued, “Queensway Group Limited views Tune Hotels.com’s brand presence in Asia Pacific as positive for the medium to long term as we expect Asia Pacific to become a major incoming market into London. In addition, we appreciate the strong match of cultures and values fostered in both teams – highly entrepreneurial, people-focused companies for which the Customer is King. By leveraging on Tune Hotels.com’s proven brand, team expertise, and operational model, Queensway Group Limited expects that our investment into the brand will present significant growth in the near future.”
Despite the challenging global economic environment, the partnership with Queensway Group Limited forms only a part of Tune Hotels.com’s aggressive expansion plans. Mark Lankester, Group CEO of Tune Hotels.com, says, “By 2015 we will have invested in over 100 hotels in key cities across the world.”
The global roll-out involves recent strategic partnerships in India and Thailand. On 11 September 2009, Tune Hotels.com announced a strategic partnership with Apodis Hospitality Group to invest in, develop and operate 20 Tune Hotels.com hotels across India by 2012. Under the terms of the strategic partnership, 5 Tune Hotels.com hotels are targeted to be operational in India by December 2010 with a staggered roll-out of the subsequent 15 hotels to be completed by the end of 2012. Initial hotels are likely to be located in and around Amritsar, Ahmedabad, Bangalore, Chandigarh, Chennai, Delhi, Goa, Hyderabad, Indore, Jodhpur, Kochi, Mumbai, Pune, Pipavav, Raipur, Thiruvananthapuram and Tiruchirapally.
On 17 December 2009, Tune Hotels.com announced a strategic partnership with Evolution Capital PCL, a real estate investment advisory firm listed on the Stock Exchange of Thailand, to franchise a roll-out of 44 Tune Hotels.com hotels across Thailand, China, Bangladesh, the Philippines, and Indonesia. Under the terms of the strategic partnership, the first 24 Tune Hotels.com hotels are targeted to be in development by early 2010 and operational by 2012 with staggered roll-out of the subsequent 20 hotels to be completed by 2013.
Tune Hotels.com employs a self-service online booking system similar to low-cost carrier airlines that encourages guests to book as far in advance as possible on www.tunehotels.com to enjoy exceptionally low prices.
All Tune Hotels.com hotels feature space-efficient, streamlined rooms focusing on high-quality basics: 5-star beds and powerful hot showers. Though minimally priced, the strategically located hotels still provide housekeeping services, electronic keycard access into rooms, extensive CCTV systems, and no access into the main lobby without a keycard past midnight. Through Tune Hotels.com’s ‘Less Waste, More Earth’ pay-as-you-use system of add-ons for air-conditioning, laundered towels and other energy-consuming facilities and amenities, Tune Hotels.com aims to help guests conserve both their funds as well as the earth’s resources.
Since Tune Hotels.com was first launched in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, in 2007, more than 500,000 guests have stayed in one of its properties, currently totaling 9 hotels located in Kuala Lumpur, Kota Kinabalu, Kuching, KLIA-LCCT Airport, Penang, Danga Bay, Johor and Kota Damansara in Malaysia and Kuta – Bali and Double Six, Legian - Bali in Indonesia.